Game Twenty-Four – Cubs 9, Cardinals 10
WP – Miguel Socolovich (2-0) LP – Pedro Strop (0-2) Save – Seth Maness (2)
There are no two ways about it Monday was a difficult night and a bad loss for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs had an 8-4 lead as late as the sixth inning before Travis Wood and the bullpen imploded. The Cardinals scored two runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh. And the Cubs dropped game one on Monday night in St. Louis.
The Cubs broke out of their offensive slump in a big way Monday. The Cubs scored five runs in the first inning off the untouchable Carlos Martinez and ran up his pitch count in the process with long at bats.
The Cubs worked three walks in the first inning and all three free passes scored on run scoring hits from Miguel Montero (2-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a runs scored) and Starlin Castro (1-for-5 with a RBI). Chris Denorfia (2-for-2 with a RBI) and Travis Wood (1-for-3 with a RBI) kept the line moving with RBI singles. And Travis Wood was given a five-run lead before he ever threw a pitch.
Travis Wood has always struggled against the Cardinals, especially at Busch Stadium, and it was more of the same on Monday. Wood gave four runs back to the Cardinals in the bottom of the first inning. The big hit was a Mark Reynolds Grand Slam, but Wood missed his spots and walked two batters and hit another with a five run lead.
The Cubs tacked on solo runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-5 with a home run) hit a solo home run in the second inning. Miguel Montero doubled in a run in the fourth. And the Cubs capitalized on a Jhonny Peralta error in the sixth that allowed Chris Coghlan (1-for-4 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored) to score the Cubs’ eighth run of the game.
Travis Wood (six runs on six hits with two walks, a HBP and five strikeouts in five-plus innings on 90 pitches, 55 strikes) started the sixth inning with an 8-4 lead and he let the Cardinals back in the game. The Cardinals scored two runs in the sixth to make it an 8-6 game.
Travis Wood could not record an out before turning the game over to the bullpen. Mark Reynolds and Jason Heyward reached on back-to-back singles and Kolten Wong drove in Reynolds with a single to center. The Cubs lead was cut to 8-5 and Maddon went to his pen for Jason Motte.
Tony Cruz flied out to left center. But Heyward tagged and moved to third. Pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos lifted a 2-2 pitch to left center. Heyward tagged from third and scored, 8-6 Cubs. Maddon went back to his pen after Motte allowed an inherited runner to score. Phil Coke replaced Motte and Jon Jay singled to right. With runners on first and second with two down, Matt Carpenter flied out to left to finally end the inning.
And the bullpen imploded in the seventh inning. The Cardinals scored four runs off Pedro Strop and Zac Rosscup with Tony Cruz delivering a two-run double that ended up being the difference in the game.
Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta singled to start the seventh. Pedro Strop walked the free swinging, strikeout prone Mark Reynolds. Joe Maddon went back to his bullpen for Zac Rosscup with the bases loaded and no outs.
Jason Heyward grounded out to third. Bryant stopped the ball and threw to second to force Reynolds. The Cubs could not turn two. Holliday scored on the play and made it a one-run game. Kolten Wong singled to left central, Peralta scored and tied the game at eight. With runners on second and third and only one out, Tony Cruz doubled to left. Heyward and Wong scored, 10-8 Cardinals. Rosscup retired Pete Kozma and Jon Jay to finally end the inning.
Addison Russell (2-for-5 with a home run) launched a solo homer to left with two outs in the ninth. But Russell’s second big league homer was all the Cubs could manage after the Cardinals relentless offense broke them down Monday night.
Kris Bryant went 1-for-1 with four walks and two runs scored in the loss. The Cubs scored nine runs on 12 hits with seven walks. But went 4-for-15 with RISP and left 10 men on base.
With Monday’s loss, the Cubs dropped to 13-11 on the season. And in the process allowed the Cardinals to improve to 19-6, the best start in franchise history.
Kyle Hendricks faces lefty Tyler Lyons on Tuesday night (7:15pm CDT) and Hendricks has the task of stopping the Cubs losing streak.